10 ‘trans’, gender-bending animals that can change sex

Animals that can change sex: Clownfish and lizard

There are species that have the ability to change their sex and/or appearance.

While there are over 1,500 species that exhibit homosexual signs, there are also animals that are ‘gender-bending’, with the ability to change how they look and/or their biology.

But in nature, we cannot determine if an animal is ‘transgender’ as it would need self-awareness and understanding of gender identification. We do not know if species beyond humans have such abilities.

However, it is clear that some animals can change their sex or at least their appearance to make them look like another sex.

So, which animals have ‘gender-bending’ or sex-changing traits?

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

The documentary Blue Planet II, narrated by David Attenborough, explores the marine world.

One clip follows the path of a female Asian Sheepshead Wrasse and its ability to change sex to male.

Attenborough explained how the transformation works: “Over just a few months, particular enzymes inside her body cease to work and male hormones start to circulate.

“As time passes, her head expands, and her chin gets longer. A she has changed into a he. And with this comes a change in temperament.”

Watch the transformation below on Blue Planet II:

The footage went viral with many branding the species as the transgender fish.

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